Read Joshua 12
List of Defeated Kings
1 These are the kings of the land whom the Israelites had defeated and whose territory they took over east of the Jordan, from the Arnon Gorge to Mount Hermon,including all the eastern side of the Arabah:
2 Sihon king of the Amorites, who reigned in Heshbon.
He ruled from Aroer on the rim of the Arnon Gorge—from the middle of the gorge—to the Jabbok River ,which is the border of the Ammonites. This included half of Gilead. 3 He also ruled over the eastern Arabah from the Sea of Galileea] to the Sea of the Arabah (that is, the Dead Sea), to Beth Jeshimoth,and then southward below the slopes of Pisgah.
4 And the territory of Og king of Bashan, one of the last of the Rephaites, who reigned in Ashtaroth and Edrei.
5 He ruled over Mount Hermon, Salekah, all of Bashanto the border of the people of Geshur and Maakah,and half of Gilead to the border of Sihon king of Heshbon.
6 Moses, the servant of the Lord, and the Israelites conquered them. And Moses the servant of the Lord gave their land to the Reubenites, the Gadites and the half-tribe of Manasseh to be their possession.
7 Here is a list of the kings of the land that Joshua and the Israelites conquered on the west side of the Jordan, from Baal Gad in the Valley of Lebanon to Mount Halak, which rises toward Seir. Joshua gave their lands as an inheritance to the tribes of Israel according to their tribal divisions. 8 The lands included the hill country, the western foothills, the Arabah, the mountain slopes, the wilderness and the Negev. These were the lands of the Hittites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites. These were the kings:
the king of Jericho one the king of Ai (near Bethel) one
the king of Jerusalem one the king of Hebron one
the king of Jarmuth one the king of Lachish one
the king of Eglon one the king of Gezer one
the king of Debir one the king of Geder one
the king of Hormah one the king of Arad one
the king of Libnah one the king of Adullam one
the king of Makkedah one the king of Bethel one
the king of Tappuah one the king of Hepher one
the king of Aphek one the king of Lasharon one
the king of Madon one the king of Hazor one
the king of Shimron Meron one the king of Acshaph one
the king of Taanach one the king of Megiddo one
the king of Kedesh one the king of Jokneam in Carmel one
the king of Dor (in Naphoth Dor) one the king of Goyim in Gilgal one
the king of Tirzah one thirty-one kings in all.
This chapter is far less exciting to read than it would have been to experience. This passage describes the many different kings that were defeated by the armies of Moses and Joshua. While these kings are just names on a page now, each one of them represents a battle that God won for the people of Israel. In all of these instances, the Israelites were forced to fight against someone who “owned” the land. These kings were the ultimate authority over the cities in which they ruled. The Isrealites had no chance against these armies! And yet, each time God won the battle for them. It’s a reminder of how Daniel describes God in Daniel 2:20-21, “Praise be to the name of God for ever and ever; wisdom and power are his. He changes times and seasons; he deposes kings and raises up others.”
While we don’t know all the details behind each of these kings, we do know what comes with holding that title. These leaders were no doubt confident in their position, arrogant in their power, and settled in their place. These kings were well established and no one could remove them…but God.
This chapter should be a reminder to you that God can change your life in an instant. That sin that has taken hold of your heart for years can be removed. That relationship you thought was dead can be restored. God is not scared off by kings, let alone the problems that you are dealing with today. Joshua 12 served as a reminder to the Israelites that what God did before, He could do again. Maybe today you need to make your own list of the giants that God has defeated in your life. What has he saved you from in the past? Let that list be a reminder that there’s nothing God can’t do for you in the days ahead.
- Why do you think this chapter was included in the Bible?
- Why didn’t God just give the Israelites unoccupied land?
- What are some established things in your life that you want to remove or change?
Did You Know?
The list of kings given in Joshua 12 serve as an important reminder to us that what we are reading is history. They are not fictional characters in a made-up land. These are real names, real places, and real time periods and God was at work in their midst.